What is content marketing?

At w00tonomy we don’t half bang on about this “content marketing” stuff. So what exactly is it?

Content marketing was born out the changes and experiences of the online industry over the past few years. Its core principle is that people will engage with your organisation if you provide them with content that delivers them value, be it monetary benefit, entertainment or targeted information. And according to Seth Godin it is the only marketing left

Of course, content marketing has been around for years but was not clearly differentiated because the marketing channels were interruptive and one-way. The internet, particularly web 2.0, has caused the paradigm shift. It is the customer who now selects the nature and time of engagement not the distributor. This has changed the marketing dynamics – it is the relevance of your content and the relationship that it establishes that determines your ability communicate with your customer

From our experience we have developed seven principles for content marketing:

  • Think and act like a publisher: If you are online then you are a publisher and an editor. This means you have to plan a content strategy and schedule. You have to know your readers and their interests.
  • Be marketing-led: Your content planing and strategy must driven by the business objectives, market research and audience profiling.
  • Online marketing: SEM and usability are an integral part of your Content Marketing strategy. They improve the audience experience and support the development of customer focussed content.
  • Understand the value proposition: Your content must deliver value either through entertainment or financially or information or all three. When developing your content clearly understand where the value lies.
  • Audience focused: Content should be targeted at your audience segments.
  • Measure and evolve: Content marketing does not end with a site going live. There is a continuous process of measurement and adapting content in line with marketing objectives.
  • And finally: You live or die by the quality of your content. No matter what business you are in you are in the content business.
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w00tonomising ourselves: content marketing in action

w00t stoogesDr Graham Jones
From Bolton, Graham brings to the company unprecedented levels of northern grimness, expertise in keeping coal in the bath and a mistaken belief that there is some kind of nobility in perpetual footballing failure. He holds a doctorate in “Y’know Doctorology N Stuff” from the respected Correspondence College of West Dakota (Cash Only). A master of technology his proudest possession is a ZX-81 which one day he hopes to learn to switch on.

Tony Purcell
Arch-technician, futurologist, visionary, entrepreneur: with the help of a dictionary Tony can spell nearly all these words. Struck down at an early age with Irishness, he is a man of strong convictions, most of which are judged to have lapsed under UK law. And he has integrated well into society thanks to the miracle of Guinness. His most prized possession is his complete box set of series 1-12 of Channel 5’s Pimp My Shirt.

Stewart Kirkpatrick
For many years the “Ling and Sand Eel Correspondent” of the Craphampton Evening Argus and Fish Smoker, Kirkpatrick was later promoted to the post of assistant editor and then bathroom attendant. His reputation is such that he was recently offered a frontline, customer-facing post by a multinational but chose instead to remain with w00tonomy. Truly, McDonald’s loss is our gain. His range of skills includes fiddling expenses, stealing other people’s stories and enthusiastic backstabbing. His proudest possession legally belongs to someone else.

Is this some kind of joke?
Yes. And no. You see, we are a content marketing agency. We preach that to get through to an audience you must first engage their interest, build a relationship with them and then direct them to your message. We practise what we preach. You can find out who we really are on the Who’s w00tonomy page. Of course, none of the things above about our directors are true (though you might want to press that Kirkpatrick guy on exactly what “entertaining contacts” means on his expenses claims).

The w00tonomy kit wish list

One of the great joys of starting a new agency is the task of drawing up the list of equipment you will need. Some make the mistake of getting bogged down in cul de sacs like printers, chairs and lighting. At w00tonomy we are different so – sod Microsoft Word and carpets – here’s the list of toys vital technology for which we have … ahem … a business need.flat lust

The iPhone
Two of us held off buying iPhones – deterred by the cost and by the fact that Apple’s gadget is not 3G. We said that, while Apple’s marketing would revolutionise the mobile market, the iPhone was a flawed device. Fools! We were fools. It’s not only gorgeous, it’s a joy to use and puts our clunky Nokia E61s to shame. When you’re browsing the web you can turn the iPhone sideways and the page turns with it. You can zoom into text just by brushing your fingers across the screen in a gesture that’s halfway between the Great Lafayette and Gipsy Rose Lee. As well as being enormously sensual this demonstrates our dictum that only the content matters – the website’s design is swept away by the fingertips.

The Flip
Posting video online is easy. Shooting it sometimes isn’t, especially if you want good quality, access to editing and the ability to email or post it easily. This is why we want a Flip. It offers all that in one package for $149.

Alienware
In terms of computing technology, our Content Marketing Director has identified the system he requires for reading his emails and browsing the web. He apparently requires a fully specced Alienware Area 51 laptop. While it’s a bit steep at 4,074.90 it’s a bargain compared to the Area 51 ALX CrossFire he wants for his desktop:Alienware Area 51
  • Intel® Core 2™ Extreme-Quad Core Overclocked
  • ATI® Radeon™ HD Crossfire Graphics
    • DirectX 10.1 Support
    • PCI-Express 2.0 Technology
  • Standard High Performance RAID
  • Standard 802.11n/g/b Wreless
  • ALX Ownership Exclusives
Total cost of that little baby? £7,744.42.

This reminds us of the time he tried to persuade us that he needed a Lamborghini Countach to help carry his work home. And we hope he won’t be too disappointed when he gets the much more Web 2.0 Asus Minibook instead. It’s Linux-based and is packed with these features:Asus Minibook

  • With a 7″ screen and weighing less than 1Kg, it’s smaller and lighter than many textbooks.
  • Robust solid-state hard drive provides fast boot-up / shut-down and preserves pupils’ files.
  • Integrated webcam (4G model only), microphone and speakers for easy web video-conferencing.
  • Integrated 802.11b/g wireless and optional 3G module provide great connectivity.
  • Integrated card-reader and three USB 2.0 ports provide a simple way to add additional storage and easy connection for peripherals.
  • Full-size VGA-out for connection to projectors or monitors

Best of all it costs around £170!

Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard

We’re bored – bored I tell you – of lugging around keyboards. Bah to their QWERTY awkwardness and pocket-unfriendly rectangularity. Two of us bought Nokia E61s because they had an integral keyboard (see “fools, fools” above). If only we’d known about the Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard. It’s the size of a matchbox yet projects a QWERTY layout onto any flat surface and then – thanks to magical creatures that live inside its small yet monolithic form (or something like that) – it follows your fingers as you type.

It even makes clicking noises as you thump away at the “keys”. We wantssss it, my precioussss. We wantssss it now. Even if it does cost $149 (or £3.79 at the current exchange rate). One of these wee fellas will keep us happy until we can buy neuroheadsets that are sophisticate enough to read your thoughts and transfer them into a computer.

Remote control blimp
Of course, we can’t be a proper agency without some kind of wacky gimmick. Instead of amusing graffiti or an eccentric retainer or an amusingly incongruous array of objets, we want one of these:

w00tonomy and Scotland’s digital deficit

We have launched w00tonomy – our content marketing agency – today with this statement:

A radical new online agency has been launched with a view to helping Scotland overcome its “digital deficit”.

Stewart Kirkpatrick Editor, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy and award-winning editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007, said: “We believe that Scotland’s online ecosystem is five years behind London and ten years behind where it could be. There are many very talented web and marketing professionals in our private and public sectors but for one reason and another that pool of talent has not led to the digital landscape that Scotland deserves.”

Kirkpatrick and his colleagues, two of Scotland’s leading online thinkers, Graham Jones and Tony Purcell, believe that Scotland needs a national discussion on how to rectify this situation. They believe that their content marketing agency offers a unique service and is well placed to lead the debate. Kirkpatrick said: “Scotland’s invention gave the world television, tarmac and penicillin. We have traditionally punched above our weight – and still do in the games market – but as a nation we have yet to get to grips with the opportunities of digital.”

“Imagine a world where every citizen could access every piece of information they needed wherever they were, whoever it was from in a way that was relevant, engaging and – most of all – interesting to that individual. Imagine too that they were then able to enter into a dialogue with the organisation that provided the information so that they felt involved and engaged with the service provided. Every message would be tailored to them, every point of contact would make them feel part of a community and every transaction would involve something far more meaningful than the simple exchange of cash.

“Thanks to the improvements in mobile phones and the evolution of the internet into a two-way discussion based on the sharing of information, all this is possible now. All we need to do is make it happen.”

About: Formed by three of Scotland’s leading online experts, w00tonomy is the first “content marketing” agency in Scotland and it represents the next evolutionary step in online marketing.

w00t: (Internet slang) Used to express joy, particularly that felt during success or victory. (From Wikipedia.) W00t was Merriam Webster’s “word of the year” in 2007.

-onomy: system of rules, laws, or knowledge about a particular field. (Also from Wikipedia.)

Why did we do this? because of the way we saw the internet moving. The first phase of the internet was really about technology, the second was about the visual element. But for now and for the future it is all about content, particularly with the launch of new mobile devices like the iphone.

Our experience has taught us that to reach target audiences clients need to build a relationship with them based on interesting and relevant content – not ads. This content must be developed over time in response to intelligence about how the audience behaves. This is at the heart our business – content marketing.

What we stand for: We believe that every client has a story to tell to every one of its customers – w00tonomy will tell that in a way that builds a long-term relationship with the online audience.

How we work: We use the changing online landscape to deliver and develop our clients’ message through high-quality creative content on next-generation platforms, and then give them bite-size intelligence about how it performs so it can be evolved.

How we are different: Traditional online marketing has focused on building a web or mobile site, uploading the client’s content and then (maybe) monitoring the traffic. The process ends there. But this approach fails to take into account how people and content behave – especially after Web 2.0. All content competes for attention with all other content – regardless of who publishes it. Our business is built on the realisation that clients now want to demonstrate real value from their online spend. Our directors boast decades of experience in editorial, strategic, technical, analytic and operational fields. We bring all components together to make your online presence effective. We will guide our clients on every stage of building a successful online strategy.

Stewart Kirkpatrick – Content Marketing Director
Stewart is Scotland’s leading content consultant, working for the Scottish Government on major projects. He was editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007. In that time traffic increased ten-fold to 4 million unique users a month. The site became one of Google News’s top 30 worldwide news sources and was identified by Media Week as the sixth biggest news site in the UK. scotsman.com won the Newspaper Society’s New Media Award for Best Daily Newspaper Site in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and was shortlisted for numerous national and international journalism awards. Last year, Stewart, a member of the international committee of the Online News Association, was named as one of “the top 50 people shaping online journalism” by UK Press Gazette.

Tony Purcell – Online Strategy and Research Director
Tony is a pioneer of the Internet industry in Scotland and a serial entrepreneur. He founded Communicata in 1995, a company specialising in web application development. Along with developing web applications, the company produced promotional websites for a number of large corporates including Sony, Scottish & Newcastle, The WM Company, Newcastle United Football Club, General Accident and the SQA. In 1999 the company was listed in Oracle’s top 50 list of e-business solutions providers worldwide. In 2001 Tony founded CIVIC with Graham Jones which went on to become the leading digital agency in Scotland. CIVIC provides a wide range of web services to the public sector in Scotland and is a supplier to the Scottish Government. Tony is also a business mentor and represents the interactive industry on the Scottish Skillset industry panel.

Dr Graham Jones – Client Services & Planning Director
Graham was Managing Director of CIVIC, Scotland’s fastest growing Online Communications Agency from its inception, in August 2001 to Nov 2007. In this time the business grew from an initial £0.5m and 7 staff to £2m with a staff of 28 people. His responsibilities throughout this period were to provide the strategic vision and direction to meet the needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing marketplace. His responsibilities also included Client & project Management, contractual negotiations, managing legal risk, business development and marketing of the agency. He was successful in establishing a reputation for credibility and industry expertise with clients to the extent that CIVIC became trusted suppliers to the Scottish Government. Graham has also worked for 7 years in the software industry, 5 years at Edinburgh University as Research Associate & 4 years as a Management Accountant.

w00tonomy and Scotland’s digital deficit

We have launched w00tonomy – our content marketing agency – today with this statement:

A radical new online agency has been launched with a view to helping Scotland overcome its “digital deficit”.

Stewart Kirkpatrick Editor, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy and award-winning editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007, said: “We believe that Scotland’s online ecosystem is five years behind London and ten years behind where it could be. There are many very talented web and marketing professionals in our private and public sectors but for one reason and another that pool of talent has not led to the digital landscape that Scotland deserves.”

Kirkpatrick and his colleagues, two of Scotland’s leading online thinkers, Graham Jones and Tony Purcell, believe that Scotland needs a national discussion on how to rectify this situation. They believe that their content marketing agency offers a unique service and is well placed to lead the debate. Kirkpatrick said: “Scotland’s invention gave the world television, tarmac and penicillin. We have traditionally punched above our weight – and still do in the games market – but as a nation we have yet to get to grips with the opportunities of digital.”

“Imagine a world where every citizen could access every piece of information they needed wherever they were, whoever it was from in a way that was relevant, engaging and – most of all – interesting to that individual. Imagine too that they were then able to enter into a dialogue with the organisation that provided the information so that they felt involved and engaged with the service provided. Every message would be tailored to them, every point of contact would make them feel part of a community and every transaction would involve something far more meaningful than the simple exchange of cash.

“Thanks to the improvements in mobile phones and the evolution of the internet into a two-way discussion based on the sharing of information, all this is possible now. All we need to do is make it happen.”

About: Formed by three of Scotland’s leading online experts, w00tonomy is the first “content marketing” agency in Scotland and it represents the next evolutionary step in online marketing.

w00t: (Internet slang) Used to express joy, particularly that felt during success or victory. (From Wikipedia.) W00t was Merriam Webster’s “word of the year” in 2007.

-onomy: system of rules, laws, or knowledge about a particular field. (Also from Wikipedia.)

Why did we do this? because of the way we saw the internet moving. The first phase of the internet was really about technology, the second was about the visual element. But for now and for the future it is all about content, particularly with the launch of new mobile devices like the iphone.

Our experience has taught us that to reach target audiences clients need to build a relationship with them based on interesting and relevant content – not ads. This content must be developed over time in response to intelligence about how the audience behaves. This is at the heart our business – content marketing.

What we stand for: We believe that every client has a story to tell to every one of its customers – w00tonomy will tell that in a way that builds a long-term relationship with the online audience.

How we work: We use the changing online landscape to deliver and develop our clients’ message through high-quality creative content on next-generation platforms, and then give them bite-size intelligence about how it performs so it can be evolved.

How we are different: Traditional online marketing has focused on building a web or mobile site, uploading the client’s content and then (maybe) monitoring the traffic. The process ends there. But this approach fails to take into account how people and content behave – especially after Web 2.0. All content competes for attention with all other content – regardless of who publishes it. Our business is built on the realisation that clients now want to demonstrate real value from their online spend. Our directors boast decades of experience in editorial, strategic, technical, analytic and operational fields. We bring all components together to make your online presence effective. We will guide our clients on every stage of building a successful online strategy.

Stewart Kirkpatrick – Content Marketing Director
Stewart is Scotland’s leading content consultant, working for the Scottish Government on major projects. He was editor of scotsman.com from 2000 to 2007. In that time traffic increased ten-fold to 4 million unique users a month. The site became one of Google News’s top 30 worldwide news sources and was identified by Media Week as the sixth biggest news site in the UK. scotsman.com won the Newspaper Society’s New Media Award for Best Daily Newspaper Site in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and was shortlisted for numerous national and international journalism awards. Last year, Stewart, a member of the international committee of the Online News Association, was named as one of “the top 50 people shaping online journalism” by UK Press Gazette.

Tony Purcell – Online Strategy and Research Director
Tony is a pioneer of the Internet industry in Scotland and a serial entrepreneur. He founded Communicata in 1995, a company specialising in web application development. Along with developing web applications, the company produced promotional websites for a number of large corporates including Sony, Scottish & Newcastle, The WM Company, Newcastle United Football Club, General Accident and the SQA. In 1999 the company was listed in Oracle’s top 50 list of e-business solutions providers worldwide. In 2001 Tony founded CIVIC with Graham Jones which went on to become the leading digital agency in Scotland. CIVIC provides a wide range of web services to the public sector in Scotland and is a supplier to the Scottish Government. Tony is also a business mentor and represents the interactive industry on the Scottish Skillset industry panel.

Dr Graham Jones – Client Services & Planning Director
Graham was Managing Director of CIVIC, Scotland’s fastest growing Online Communications Agency from its inception, in August 2001 to Nov 2007. In this time the business grew from an initial £0.5m and 7 staff to £2m with a staff of 28 people. His responsibilities throughout this period were to provide the strategic vision and direction to meet the needs of a dynamic and rapidly growing marketplace. His responsibilities also included Client & project Management, contractual negotiations, managing legal risk, business development and marketing of the agency. He was successful in establishing a reputation for credibility and industry expertise with clients to the extent that CIVIC became trusted suppliers to the Scottish Government. Graham has also worked for 7 years in the software industry, 5 years at Edinburgh University as Research Associate & 4 years as a Management Accountant.

Marketing guru Seth Godin on content

Juntajoe reports on an audio seminar by Seth Godin, as part of his Meatball Sundae Book Tour. Here’s some key points.

  1. The old way of marketing is where producers talked at customers with consistent interruption. New marketing is about connecting with customers.
  2. Today’s new marketing is a bigger opportunity than any revolution that came along before (Factory, Industrial revolution) because people only need access to ideas, not access to large amounts of capital.
  3. Instead of spending $5 million on advertising, spend $5 million on a great product that people want to talk about.
  4. There is a difference between how many and who. Old marketing was about how many. New marketing is about who. If 12 people are coming to your blog, but they are the right 12 people with large amounts of buying power, that’s what matters.
  5. Permission transferred is permission lost.
  6. Your content: Who is listening? Make something for them. If you make something that solves their problems, they’ll talk about it and tell others.
  7. The gatekeepers have changed. Today’s technology has enabled the destruction of old gatekeepers (have a message to tell and can’t get it out… create a blog then) and the creation of new gatekeepers (those that have 1,000 friends on Facebook).
  8. Figure out why the target needs to pay attention to you? Find information they desperately need (books, blog, research, surveys, etc.) and give it to them. This is the heart of new marketing.
  9. Telling an authentic story means living an authentic life (i.e., Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO really does love coffee). In the new marketing world, you can’t fake it, so you have no choice but to be real.
  10. All one has to do to understand new marketing is to start a blog. Write stuff that people want to read instead of dictating to them. You learn the lesson quickly!